Book Review: “Travel in Black” and “Travel in Black” | Lifestyle


You always wanted to do it. You just wanted to go.

You jump into a car or van and don’t think about GPS, maps, actual itineraries, or destinations. Point the headlights in one direction and drive until you get where you need them. No timetables, no worries … and your ancestors don’t have a chance to do just that. So this summer, catch you and respect their wandering habits and read these two new books with similar titles …

First, history: it had to start somewhere – but where? You can imagine how black liquidity was affected by slavery, but how and why did it last? Sure, it wasn’t arbitrary, it wasn’t just “No, I can’t travel here.” So how did black migration restrictions occur, how did African Americans fight the system, and why is it important now? In “Traveling Black” (Belknap, Harvard University Press, $ 35.00), author Mia Bay answers these questions. This begins when the trip was primarily a carriage type.

Starting with Plessy v. Ferguson, Bay may wait for travelers along the journey, how racism in travel began, how it spreads along roads and railroads, and then to accommodations. Explain the uncertainty of what is not. Bay separates each mode of travel and examines how travel was sometimes used as an activist to see how the Jim Crow method affected black travelers in different ways.

But now you are free to travel not only in the United States, but around the world as needed. In “Travelling While Black” (Hurst, $ 19.95), author Nanjala Nyabola talks about her travels and the importance of skin color on the move.

Sure, what would it be like to travel as a black woman when the guidebook wasn’t written with black women in mind? How can you draw a line to travel now from African Americans on the old road? And now you can travel, what does it tell you about yourself?

These are just a few examples that Nyabora ponders when taking readers from Haiti to the Far East, Mexico, Africa, Europe, and the Southern United States. She suffers and thinks about the need for literature in black culture, identity, asylum, and the meaning of the house.

This is the kind of book you want to go somewhere, but want to read when you’re trapped in your house for some reason. Nyabora goes to popular places, but also to places that adventurers generally want. This gives the reader a sense of travel with unusual tips. Her thoughts about where she goes make this a book you don’t want to put. Her observations will please you that she took you with her.

If these don’t exactly fit what you’re looking for, there are plenty of other books you can find in your local library or bookstore. As always, always seek help from a librarian or bookstore. They are good at finding what you are looking for. Do it today. Just go.

“Traveling Black: A Story of Race and Resistance,” Mia Bay, 2021, Belknap, Harvard University Press, $ 35, p. 391.

“The Black Journey: An Essay Inspired by Life on the Move,” Nanjala Nyabola, 2020, Hurst, $ 19.95, p. 238

Book Review: “Travel in Black” and “Travel in Black” | Lifestyle

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